Finding Freedom in Christ

 

Do you find that life lacks authenticity?

Ever experience trouble in relationships?

Wish there were more than just going through the routine only to repeat it again tomorrow?

 

 

These and similar feelings make sense today and throughout history, if we are living life in a way that is contrary to how we were created.

 Freedom in Christ 2How Life Should Have Been

When God created the first man, he created him to have a relationship with Himself and to work in the garden, taking care of it and classifying the animals. Man had a perfect relationship with God and he had a purpose, a function, a way to live out his life the way that he was meant to live. Yet, God still looked at this situation and said, "It's still not good - man should not be alone." Because of this, God created a woman to live life with man.

Understanding this history, it is clear that people were created with a purpose - we were created to relate to God, to relate to our fellow man, and to live out a personal design.

Imprisoned

When a person finds that one of these areas is missing, he understandably feels unfulfilled. No wonder daily life becomes such a drag. But the problem gets worse, because we understand from the Bible that man disobeyed God and this is referred to as "the Fall." Man's disobedience resulted in alienation between man and God - man hid from God and had to be physically separated from God because of his disobedience. But a relationship with God was not the only thing lost. We are told that Adam and his wife also hid from one another by clothing themselves - expressing the alienation that occurred bertween people. Finally, man was placed outside of the garden - a third separation as he was separated from his purpose.

Freedom In Christ 4All people are born separated from the purpose of their existence - they are separated from God, from other people, and from their God given design. The fruit of this separation is evident all around us as people seek other things to live life for - money, popularity, pleasure, etc. It is clear in our relationships which seem to be damaged so easily and still sometimes leave us feeling lonely. It is clear in our workplace that while work is a big part of our lives, it is sometimes drudgery and we may even find ourselves just trying to get through it. All of this is an indication that things are not the way they were meant to be.

Freedom in Christ 3This only gets worse, because God as a just God, must punish sin and our lives are filled with it. Not only do we do things that we know are wrong, but if we understand that our purpose is to have a relationship with God and with other people and we do not have these then we are not living according to the way that we were made. When Jesus is asked to sum up the law, he makes it very simple - Love God with everything you've got and love each other the way you love yourself. Jesus sums up the law essentially saying - live the way you were meant to live. Yet we don't ... and we know we don't. This calls for judgment and the Bible is clear that judgment is coming.

God who must be just could not just overlook lives lived in rebellion to the purpose for which they were created. The problem becomes hopeless in that we could do nothing to reconnect ourselves in our relationship to God. In fact, it is almost like we are born into a prison where instead of looking ourwards for significance to God and instead of making decisions that benefit others, we find ourselves imprisoned to ourselves.

We make most decisions based on how it will benefit us, we spend most of our money based on us, we spend most of our time based on what we want to do - we are consumed with us. Yet although none of this is fulfilling because it is not the way that we were made to live, we cannot seem to live otherwise.

Verses to think on

Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

John 3:16: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:36: Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.

Freedom In Christ 5Ephesians 2:1-10: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the imcomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourseles, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

John 1:12: Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

Set Free

Freedom 1So we find ourselves in prison to ourselves and since self seems to be the problem, there is no way for self to get out of this situation - it is truly hopeless. But ... God loved the world so much that He was unwilling to allow this   situation to continue. He stepped into history, took on flesh, and lived life the way it was meant to be lived. Ultimately, Jesus was put to death on a cross and we are told that the judgment that He took on the cross paid the penalty for the sins of man. Three days after his death, he rose from the dead and offers freedom to those in the prison of self. A new and different kind of life is available - the life of Christ. We can be freed from the prison of self and set free to live life the way it was meant to be lived.

John 3:16 says, "whoever believes in him will not perish, but will have everlasting life." Here we're told that if we will put our trust, our confidence in Jesus and what he did on the cross for us, that not only will we avoid judgment, but we can have that new life. If you stop trying to trust in yourself and transfer your trust to Christ, the Bible says that you are changed from death to life, from darkness to light.

 

Colossians 1:13 says of those who have transferred their trust to Jesus, "He (God) has transferred us out of darkness and into the kingdom of His beloved Son." It is as though we are in a deep dark pit. We've fallen into a muddy dark well and are separated from God, from others, and from our purpose in life. But if we choose to trust in Christ as the sufficient payment for our sins, God reaches in, pulls us out, and brings us to the royal court, where we can learn to live out our purpose to a greater extent each day.

Once you trust in Christ's death, burial, and resurrection as payment for the sin that imprisons you, your relationship with God is immediately restored and you now have the opportunity to grow in that relationship. Because this relationship is restored, there is now the ability to become different. As you grow in your relationship with Christ, Freedom In Christ 6relationships with others will become more and more meaningful and you will discover that you were designed for a specific purpose and can begin to live that purpose out. By living the way you were meant to live, you worship God and bring glory to Him.